Why fracking in the UK is absolutely the wrong move
April 3, 2014 3 Comments
“The best solutions to climate change are practical. There are thus strong environmental reasons to support British fracking.” So said the leading article in The Times newspaper yesterday, referring to the need for action after the latest alarming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC). Elsewhere in the paper, there was the news that the government is drawing up new laws to allow fracking firms to drill under people’s homes without the permission of landowners. The Times leader put forward a supposed argument for fracking, “hard as it may be for traditional environmentalists to accept”. The article suggests that fracking has played a significant role in America’s reduction of carbon emissions, and that this is the way forward over here. No, it is not. Despite its apparent success in the USA, fracking will not and can not be successful over here, for many reasons.
To be economically viable, there would have to be many thousands of wells and drilling rigs across the country. Many, many people’s lives and communities would be devastated in one way or another. The coming and going of the required massive trucks alone would be enough for many to protest. Downland, meadowland, farmland and woodland would be subject to wide-scale industrialization. In America, towns near fracking sites have had water supplies contaminated and running out, as well as land, livestock, pets and people poisoned by air pollutants. Even according to the government’s own experts, fracking will not lower energy bills. Despite what the government claims, the environmental risks are extremely high, and the damage already done by fracking in several countries is real.
Widespread opposition has already helped stop fracking in France and Bulgaria, with temporary bans in Holland, parts of the US, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In my view and that of many others, it must be stopped here before serious damage is done. The alternatives? Cutting energy waste and developing the UK’s huge renewable energy potential. “Britain trails nearly all the European Union in providing renewable energy – we can boast of being ahead only of those global giants Malta and Luxembourg – meanwhile states such as the US and China are surging ahead with renewables. The refusal to provide a secure, supportive investment environment for renewables in the UK risks losing opportunities for jobs and businesses.” Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party.
More information at Frack Off.